For food, culinary and cooking terms, check the Japanese Food Glossary
For historical terms and people, including terms related to samurai, check the Japanese History Glossary
For terms related to Japanese Buddhism, Shintoism and religious traditions, go to the Japanese Religion Glossary
For terms related to traditional Japanese culture besides food, religion and history, visit to the Japanese Culture Glossary
Modern Culture & Society
One of the largest foreign language school in Japan. Known as one of the "big 5" Eikaiwa school, along with GEOS, NOVA, ECC and Berlitz. Also the name of a famous supermarket (AEON JUSCO).
"To play". Does not refer only to games, but to any form of entertainment or amusment, including sex.
Adult video (not "audio video" !)
Smorgasbord or buffet. The word comes from "viking", the name of the first Swedish restaurant in Japan offering smorgasbord.
One of the largest foreign language school in Japan. Known as one of the "big 5" Eikaiwa school, along with GEOS, NOVA, AEON and ECC.
24h/7days convenience store, such as 7 Eleven, Family Mart or Circle K-Sunkus.
One of the largest foreign language school in Japan. Known as one of the "big 5" Eikaiwa school, along with GEOS, NOVA, AEON and Berlitz.
English Conversation (School). The 5 biggest "Eikaiwa schools" in Japan are : NOVA, GEOS, AEON, Berlitz and ECC.
- Enjo Kōsai
Literally "compensated dating". It stands for teenage girl who give sexual service to older men, typically in exchange for brand bags or clothes or for money. It is in other words voluntary teenage prostitution and is saddly relatively common in Japan.
- Enkai Kibun
One of the largest foreign language school in Japan. Known as one of the "big 5" Eikaiwa school, along with AEON, NOVA, ECC and Berlitz.
- Hanshin Tigers
Japan's second largest baseball team, representing Ōsaka and Kōbe.
Current Emperor of Japan since 1989, also known as Akihito.
Bullying or teasing, usually at school or at work.
Restaurants serving various kind of food and where people usually go to drink alcohol.
"Jiyu-Minshu-to" (Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP). The largest Japanese political party, in power since 1958. (See Japan's Political System)
Japan National Tourist Organization
Japan Travel Bureau (Japan's largest travel agency)
Japanese Youth Hostel Association
Japanaese abbreviation for "Cabaret Club", i.e. a kind of hostess bar with usually younger girls than in other hostess bars.
Kokusai Denshin Denwa International (International Telegraph & Telephone)
Industrial conglomerate. Another term for "zaibatsu".
Literally, region "near the capital (Kyoto)", referring to the prefecture surrounding Kyoto. Another term for Kansai.
Police box keeping only a few (sometimes only one) police officer. They were created to ensure public order, but are used mostly by people to ask their way around.
Clean Government Party. Third largest political part in Japan, affiliated to the "new religion" Soka Gakkai. (See Japan's Political System)
Low, heated table with a quilt covering it to keep one's body warm. Note that central heating and thermic insulation are still a rarity in Japan.
Term with a broad meaning in English, meaning guest, customer, passenger, patron, buyer, shopper, regular, clientele, etc.
Japanese abbreviation for "mother-complex" (Oedipus complex).
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Second largest political party in Japan. (See Japan's Political System)
Ministry of International Trade and Industry
A playboy or playgirl. Someone who is looking for a sexual partner in the street or in a nightclub.
Nihon Hoso Kyokai (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). The Japanese equivalent of the BBC.
- No pants shabu-shabu
"Shabu-shabu" restaurant where waitresses do not wear underwear and perverted customers are allowed to peep under their skirts. Also exist with other kinds of restaurants than "shabu-shabu".
The largest foreign language school in Japan. Known as one of the "big 5" Eikaiwa school, along with AEON, GEOS, ECC and Berlitz.
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.
Office lady. Usually unmarried women with non career jobs reserved for women, such as receptionist, secretary or clerical work. It oftens involves serving tea in the office or accompanying male co-workers to karaoke or izakayas after work.
Vertical pinball game found everywhere in Japanese cities. Pachinko parlours are very noisy, but it doesn't prevent them from being the most common form of gambling in Japan. It is also a major source of yakuza funding, tax evasion, etc.
Japanese abbreviation for Personal Computer (PC).
Train/Metro Card sold in amount of 1000yen, 3000yen or 5000yen, in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.
Japanese abbreviation for Remote Control.
Businessman, typically employed by a big company and wearing a black or grey suit.
Japanese bullet train. The main line runs from Nortern Kyushu to Northern Honshu and reaches 280km/h.
- SM bar
Euphemistic term referring to bathhouses offering sexual services. It replaced the term "Turkish bath" after the Turkish government complained.
- Suika Card
Rechargeable card providing fast payment that can be used on JR trains and in some shops.
"Talent". Refers to TV celebrities and entertainers, although they typically lack the so-called "talent".
- Terebi geemu
- Tramp (or torampu)
Playing cards (the word comes from "trump"). Not a homeless person, nor a promiscuous woman.
- Yomiuri Giants
Most popular Japanese baseball team (from Tokyo), supported by about 50% of the Japanese.
Industrial conglomerate, such as Mitsui, Mitsubishi or Sumitomo.
Regions of Japan
Region of central Honshū, between the Kantō and Kansai. It includes the Koshin'etsu and Tōkai areas.
Japan's main island. It includes the region of Tōhoku, Kantō, Chūbu, Kansai and Chūgoku.
Literally, region "West to the barrier", referring to the major population centre of Western Japan around Kyōto and Osaka. Another term for Kinki.
Large plain and geographical area surrounding Tokyo.
Subregion of the Chūbu region. It includes the prefectures of Yamanashi, Nagano and Niigata.
Japan's southernmost group of islands, between Kyushu and Taiwan.
Northern Honshū (lit. North-East).
Subregion of the Chūbu region. It includes the prefectures of Shizuoka, Aichi and Gifu, and sometimes also Mie.
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